Millennials in Africa & Middle East are embracing digital currencies, claims the co-founder of Token Daily
If you thought the buzz around cryptocurrency is limited to only first world countries, you could be on the wrong track. The Third World, particularly Africa and the Middle East, are witnessing a surge in crypto popularity, says Soona Amhaz.
In a recent interview with Pomp Podcast on the future of crypto currencies outside the US, the co-founder of Token Daily said that FinTech adoption has been soaring in Africa, with the millennials there increasingly getting drawn to digital currencies like Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation.
“Africa is poised to become the next hub for crypto development. There’s rapid inflation, historically Zimbabwe, Nigeria, now a select few other countries are experiencing rapid inflation, and there’s also the narrative that’s pretty commonly known is that this is a mobile-first continent. Also, the average age on the continent of Africa is 19 years.
“FinTech and crypto are some of the largest investments that foreign investors make in African countries and I think that it’s incredibly important to look at the behaviours of the companies there”
“And so the IMF extrapolated this out and just based on birth and death rates for countries around the world by 2035, there will be more people joining the workforce from Africa than the rest of the world combined. So that’s really important in terms of trying to figure out where the future is headed in terms of mobile payments and FinTech.
“FinTech and crypto are some of the largest investments that foreign investors make in African countries and I think that it’s incredibly important to look at the behaviours of the companies there… There’s a great company called Bike Lines and they provide an on-ramp off-ramp for crypto and they’re essentially bringing this pretty informal economy and making it more formal,” she said.
According to Amhaz, while in the US people have different apps for different purposes like one for traditional banking and another for digital currencies, people in Africa just have one app on their phone and it does everything.
Not only the African countries, Amhaz claimed that people in the Middle East, like in Lebanon, are also increasingly taking to virtual currencies even though the trouble-torn country is still far from being a poster boy for crypto adoption.
“They didn’t understand the value of crypto until the Lira (local currency) lost its peg to the stock to the US dollar and it used to be 1,500 Lira’s equals a dollar and 7 000 Liras now equals a US dollar. … the first folks that experience hyperinflation are the ones to understand it,” she told host Anthony Pompliano.
“I actually think that Bitcoin will do more to create that fair and equitable world than philanthropy”
Giving a personal anecdote, she said, “When i was visiting my family (in Lebanon), I could see the Bitcoin logo behind the news anchor and I remember thinking that was the moment I have never been more bullish on Bitcoin… I remember thinking like this is absolutely the future.”
“I actually think that Bitcoin will do more to create that fair and equitable world than philanthropy,” she said.